Match Reports

Late winner makes it Toff for Albion

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Added-time Everton winner sees off Albion.

By Luke Nicoli • 21 May 2023

By Craig Galloway
Albion suffer from last minute winner

Albion suffered late heartache as a 92nd-minute goal from Hanna Bennison meant the Seagulls left Walton Hall Park empty handed.

Mel Phillips’s side looked on course for a richly deserved point after a deft first-half lob from Katie Robinson had cancelled out Katja Snoeijs’ opener, but as the seconds ticked down, Bennison let fly from the edge of the box to win the game.

With their WSL status already confirmed for another season, Albion looked calm and composed throughout and created a number of chances, which was a positive Phillips would have taken from the game.

Indeed, the tone was set early on when Robinson met an Emma Kullberg cross, only to see her mis-hit effort fall wide of the target.

By Craig Galloway
Pattinson up against former club

Toffees midfielder Nicoline Sorensen then hit the side-netting with a low drive moments later, while Elisabeth Terland saw a 20-yard effort fly over the bar for the Seagulls following some good build-up play down the right flank. Danielle Carter also tried her luck from distance, but her effort failed to trouble keeper Emily Ramsey.

Poppy Pattinson then ghosted in with a header for the Seagulls while Sorensen drew a good save from Megan Walsh as the game ebbed and flowed in the Merseyside sunshine.

The win looked very much there for the taking for either side, but it was the hosts who took the lead on 32 minutes when Snoeijs met a long ball over the top of the Albion defence before drilling into the roof of the net from an acute angle.

Again, Albion showed good build-up play, resulting in a Julia Zigiotti effort flying high over bar, while Vea Sarri and Zoe Morse also tried their luck from distance as Albion searched for an equaliser.

It duly arrived shortly before half-time when Robinson used her pace to latch onto a long ball from Zigiotti, before delightfully lifting the ball over the advancing Ramsey.

Maisie Symonds came on for Zigiotti at half-time and she had a good chance immediately after the restart, but having raced through on goal, her weak effort was easily saved.

Robinson also burst through the heart of the Everton rearguard soon after but, her drive from the edge of the box dropped wide of Ramsey’s left-hand upright.

Pattinson followed Emma Kullberg off the pitch, meaning Albion had lost both their recognised full-backs by the 55th minute, but Everton could only muster a couple of heart-hearted efforts that failed to trouble Walsh.

Maybe it was the warm conditions, but the second half failed to match the intensity of the first, and while the hosts probed for the equaliser, Albion enjoyed good spells of possession.

As the minutes ticked down, Albion could even have snatched the win when Robinson centred for Geummin Lee, but the sub’s first-time effort was pushed away by Ramsey for a corner.

Football, as we know, is all about fine margins and while Albion were left to rue the save, Bennison made no mistake at the other end of the pitch. Picking up the ball on the edge of area, she side-stepped two challenges before unleashing an effort that flew past Walsh.

It was tough on the Seagulls, but there were, again, plenty of encouraging signs for Phillips to take forward – with the side ending the campaign at home to Leicester City next Sunday.

Albion: Walsh, Pattinson (55 Visalli), Bergsvand, Kullberg (45 Green), Morse, Connolly, Zigiotti (45 Symonds), Terland (73 Bance), Carter (77 Lee), Robinson, Sarri. Subs not used: Startup, Stott, Williams, Stefanovic.